By Prarthana Mitra
Following a massive overhaul of the structure in the Indian Ministry of Information and Broadcasting in December 2017, three separate departments have officially been integrated into a singular unit as per directives by the Ministry.
The Directorate of Film Publicity (DFP), Song and Drama Division (S&DD) and the Directorate of Audio Visual Publicity (DAVP) will now operate from under the banner of Bureau of Outreach Communication (BOC) as per the new structure.
These media units were responsible for promoting government policies and programmes among the public through advertisements, films, and performance arts. Their roles will now be consolidated and overseen by this new parent body post-integration.
To get the process underway, the ministry has ordered for all field offices and regional units of the S&DD and DAVP to be co-located and merged with the DFP headquarters and offices closest to them.
These integrated regional units or Regional Outreach Bureaus (ROBs) will be headed by the Additional Director General of the region, who will act as a controlling officer for all the departments in the office. Furthermore, the 147 existing Field Units will be renamed as Field Outreach Bureaus (FOBs), and the Regional Controlling Officers will nominate heads for each.
For greater synergy and holistic operation in the future, a phase-by-phase orientation of the integrated personnel will soon be undertaken.
All financial proposals and budgets regarding the conduction of publicity programmes, as well as the administrative expenditure of BOC, will be approved by the designated Head of the BOC. The BOC has been allotted around Rs. 174 crores as per the Union Budget, which is around 5.6% lesser than the amount that was earlier sanctioned to the three divisions overall.
The government hopes the new BOC will help change the Delhi-centric approach of the ministry and help focus on building content for uncovered areas, as well as communication in local and regional languages.
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